William Sydney Wicks

Photos courtesy of Wicks's great-granddaughter, Elizabeth Hopkins Wittemann

TEXT Beneath Illustrations

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Wicks in 1877


Wicks in 1902

124 Jewett Parkway, the Parkside house designed by Wicks for his family, where he lived for thirty years.

Grace and Ruth Wicks (Wicks's daughters), and their cousin Elise on the porch at 124 Jewett Parkway.

Middle house: 60 Summit

Far right: 124 Jewett Parkway

William Sydney Wicks was born in Oneida Country in central New York in 1854, trained at MIT and Cornell, where he later designed several campus buildings.

In 1881, he went into partnership with E. B. Green at Auburn, New York; two years later they both moved to Buffalo, where the firm endured until 1917 when Wicks retired. Wicks died two years later, in 1919.

In Buffalo, Wicks served as park commissioner from 1897 to 1900 and did much to promote the Parkside community (designed by Olmsted & Vaux in 1876), where he lived for thirty years.

In 1902 John Albright asked the firm (Green & Wicks) to design a summer camp for his family at Wilmurt Lake in the Adirondacks. In 1899, William Wicks had published a small book entitled Log Cabins and Cottages: How To Build and Furnish Them. Evidently it was quite popular because it was reprinted five times and led to a number of design commissions for "cabins" and "cottages" in the Adirondacks and Muskoka Lakes regions. These structures were, in fact, quite large log summer homes with huge living and dining halls on the first level and up to twelve bedrooms on the second level. The influence of this style is evident in his own home at 124 Summit, as well a s two houses around the corner on Summit Avenue at ## 56 and 60.

Wicks was a member of the Adirondack League, and at his farm near Barneveld had engaged successfully in scientific fish culture.

In 1897, Wicks designed the Parkside Unitarian Church.

In 1882 he married Emma Egert Griffith. Two daughters survived Wicks's death.

Page by Chuck LaChiusa
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